Published Jul 22, 2015Strange Wilds' debut full-length is rife with the fury Sub Pop's beginnings are associated with. Their Northwest hardcore sound may be derivative, but it represents the tendencies of its origins with convincing force, as their unrefined grunge tones and twangs almost make Subjective Concepts feel like an overlooked album from back in the day. In your face attitude is delivered through painstakingly tuneless vocals and unapologetic lines like "I'm not really like that, except for that I am," from "Pareiodolia."
Sub Pop has found an ideal time for this release, as it embodies a sound poised for renewed attention following the success of METZ, but while that band's brand of abrasion is catchy, that kind of melodic appeal feels lower down on Strange Wilds' agenda — though the rare moments in which they show that capability are welcome and impressive, especially on "Starved For."
Songs like "Egophillia," on which the band flex their hardcore muscle, are the strongest here, conveying a sense of urgency. That exposed core is hard, ugly and unforgiving — as it should be. (Sub Pop)